Stupid Glenn Tricks

14 11 2012

Yes, the stories are true and the names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

Some of you may have seen the David Lettermen show. They have a section they do sometimes called Stupid Pet Tricks.  Well I thought I would share with you, Stupid Glenn Tricks.  These are the things that I have done that are just dumb.  You live and learn when working in new surroundings and new cultures. Some people say that things we learn and go wrong have to be viewed as paying our “stupid tax”.  That little fee in life you get to pay till you learn what you wish you knew, sometimes only moments ago.

Once when sharing with a group of people about Jesus in a street ministry type of work in Tanzania, I thought I would show off a little of my recently acquired Swahili vocabulary.  I greeted them in Swahili and they smiled.  Finding that encouraging I decided to venture further.  I decided to count how many people were in the little group and show off my Swahili counting skills.  Bad idea.  Turns out that the word for 10, Kumi, when mispronounced is an unmentionable part of the female anatomy in Swahili.  I said Kuma.  Not only that but Kuma, na saba.  Congratulations, Glenn you just told  seventeen people  they have seven (fill in the blank) between them.  My translator howled, the crowd almost fell over and strike one for cultural connections.

Just the other day I was standing under a really neat treat visiting with some local pastors.  I looked on the ground and there was what appeared to be a beautiful walnut.  I picked it up and broke it open and sure enough there was a walnut.  I love walnuts.  I popped it in my mouth and noticed immediately that it tasted like a peanut. Bad idea number two.  My interpreter told me not to eat anything I did not know what it was.  I told him I had an iron stomach and I had never heard of a poisonous nut.  The local pastor, however, informed me that this nut cause diarrhea.  Well I informed the group I only ate a small portion.  However, that was enough.  Within  15 minutes my stomach was cramping and I was in the choo.  (outhouse).  It was not good.  I entered the church and had to sneak out twice during worship to head to the choo, then when I got done speaking I prayed that everyone would bow their heads soon or I was going to be in real trouble.  Bingo, call for prayer by the worship leader and out the door I ran.  Made it.   Just barely.  I was praying that NO ONE in the entire congregation would go to the bathroom, however, until I was miles away.  No such luck.  I was surprised to be invited back but I am there next week.  Pray they forget my first visit.

I could go on forever, in this particular category, as I got the same result trying out my high tech water purifier.  It had rained extensively and fouled all the drinking water in our area.  I announced for no one to worry I had a solution. Everyone oh’d and owwed as I showed them my purifier and told them of its wonderful powers.  I did, thankfully, recommend that I try it first.  For the results of my experiment see the paragraph above.  Different reason and location, same result.

Finally, I gave up an waiting for brothers to give me a ride, haggling with taxis over price constantly, since I am white and presumed rich.  I bought a 650 dollar Chinese motor bike. 125 cc of freedom.  I optomistically estimated my 11 hour bus trip would be reduced to an 8 hour pleasure ride.  Since my bike was only two weeks old I would worry about tools and such later.  You know when it is broken in.  Bad idea.  My chain came off in the first hour, I had two flats the next day and my 8 hour trip took two long, hard, hot days.  No tools no spares.  God is good and my provider.  I also think He has a sense of humor and finds me quite amusing.  I guess we all have our place in the body of Christ.  Mine might be the funny bone.




One response

16 11 2012
Alice Stanback


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